Peter Cunningham

Peter Cunningham, Executive Director of Education Post

Staff

Executive Director, Education Post

Chicago, Illinois

Peter Cunningham is the executive director of Education Post. He recently served as assistant secretary for communications and outreach in the U.S. Department of Education during the Obama Administration’s first term. Prior to that he worked with Arne Duncan when he was CEO of the Chicago Public Schools.

Peter is affiliated with Whiteboard Advisors, a DC-based education policy, research and communications firm. He serves on several non-profit boards, including Oakland-based Great Schools, which provides school quality information to parents through a national on-line platform, The Montessori School of Englewood, a Chicago public charter school, Manufacturing Renaissance, a career education program that trains public high school students for jobs in manufacturing, Unbounded, an organization supporting teachers in schools that are transitioning to higher standards, and Foolproofme.com, which is focused on financial literacy for students.

Peter founded Cunningham Communications, serving public, private and non-profit clients, worked for political consultant David Axelrod, and was a senior advisor and speechwriter for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.

A native New Yorker, Peter began his career as a journalist with small weekly newspapers in New York. He earned an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University and a B.A. in Philosophy from Duke University. He is married to artist, Jackie Kazarian, and they have two adult children who are proud graduates of the Chicago Public Schools.

RECENT POSTS

Posted Oct. 23, 2017

Bill Gates’ Education Priorities Reflect His Respect for the Field

In the last 17 years, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent $3.4 billion dollars to improve public education.…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Oct. 9, 2017

Education Is the Surest Path Out of Poverty, Even If The Atlantic Reports Otherwise

One of the favored tactics of education reform opponents is to blame underperformance of schools on problems we cannot easily…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Sep. 28, 2017

High Hopes Despite Low Expectations: Welcome to Oklahoma

For education reform to flourish, you need political leadership to change laws and policies, educational leadership with a clear vision…

By Erika Sanzi, Peter Cunningham

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Posted Sep. 18, 2017

I Got to Be a Fly on the Wall in a Room Full of Teachers

On a recent afternoon, I spent two hours listening to eight public school teachers talk about their work. All but…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Sep. 12, 2017

Don’t Get Angry, Get Eva

Somehow, while managing a sprawling network of public charter schools serving 15,000 children, engaging in the day-to-day political combat of…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Sep. 10, 2017

Education, Politics, Media and Chicago

Paraphrasing Yogi Berra, education in Chicago is 50 percent teaching and learning and 90 percent money and politics. No matter…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Sep. 5, 2017

4 Things Every Blogger Can Do to Improve Education in America

September 1 marked Education Post’s three-year anniversary as a public voice for improving public education. From the start, our goal…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Aug. 31, 2017

Americans Support Testing: Someone Tell PDK

PDK International has been polling on the subject of education for decades, releasing annual reports that generate a lot of…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Aug. 15, 2017

One Progressive Education Reformer’s Manifesto in the Age of Trump

Chalkbeat recently reported about a March meeting of progressive education reformers where former Education Secretary Arne Duncan encouraged charter leaders…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Aug. 2, 2017

The Teacher Leadership Movement Just Gained a New Champion

“The teacher leadership movement needs to be front and center in closing opportunity and achievement gaps,” says Roberto Rodriguez, President…

By Peter Cunningham

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Featured Posts

Posted Dec. 8, 2017

Teachers Are Ready to End the School-to-Prison Pipeline But They Need the Trump Administration’s Help

2.6 million. That is the number of children suspended from U.S. public schools in one calendar year—2.6 million. That data, released in 2014 by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for…

By Lillian Lowery, Evan Stone

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Posted Dec. 7, 2017

This Video of Denver DREAMers Challenged Me to Check My Privilege

Being the “Type A,” driven overachiever that I am, I tend to be a planner—often, to a fault. As the daughter of a Purdue grad,…

By Chyrise Harris

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Posted Dec. 7, 2017

How Quincy Patterson Became Virginia Tech’s First Quarterback to Major in Engineering

If you follow Chicago’s high school football scene, you probably already know Quincy Patterson, the Solorio High School quarterback who drew lots of attention from…

By Maureen Kelleher

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